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Should Children be Taught about LGBT Rights?

July 8, 2019 10:50 AM
By Gillian Douglas

Gillian Douglass 1

People who have sexual identities other than heterosexual have been discriminated against throughout history. It is important, therefore, that children are taught about LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.) rights in school, both to gain awareness and to help the situation improve. The Liberal Democrats campaign against prejudice and discrimination against LGBT+ people while continuing to campaign for the UK government to ratify the Instanbul Convention which protects the rights of women and girls.

Personally, I think that very young children should be made aware of gender issues when they start exploring their sexual identity in preschool. It is also important, at this stage, that some of the more blatant gender stereotypes are questioned in order to give our children and young people wider choices and to free them from being forced into gender roles which do not suit them.

Young people may start to question their sexual identity again during puberty when high levels of hormones and changes to the body become apparent. Again, it helps to have some very general education about the changes they are undergoing and to give information not only about male and female heterosexual rights but also about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

It is also incredibly important that minorities of whatever sexual identity are aware that they are not alone. LGBT+ children and teenagers are more likely to have mental health issues. and are more likely to be bullied in school according to the National Health Service. The most important aspect of life to many young people is to be accepted as they are. It is, therefore, important that authorities, such as teachers and the perceived establishment acknowledge their sexual/gender identity. This includes young people who are questioning or exploring their sexual identities.

Gillian Douglas is Vice-Chair of Tunbridge Wells Lib Dems, and works in Sevenoaks